continued from back cover
ing a "ton" of research, and shared the manuscript of the
results with us. Her premise: while Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson was at Oxford, he interacted with the Neo-Platonists
and this especially shows in the Sylvie and Bruno books.
Dodgson came from a family background that was
moderately High Church. However, at Oxford he came into
contact with Bishop Wilberforce and Theosophy, a philoso-
phy which postulates the oneness of the human soul with
the universal soul. That Dodgson was active in the
Ashmolean Society and the Theosophical Society was evi-
dent in his personal library, which also included materials on
These movements were a reaction to the cold phi-
losophy of empiricism, and gradually mutated to spiritual-
ism. A soul will establish a "gnosis" or union with Christ.
Dodgson had always been repelled by ritualism as opposed
to the doctrine of love. He was also repelled by the doctrine
of eternal damnation. Thus he stepped into the unitary phi-
losophy that all things are connected by God's love.
In Sylvie and Bruno, Dodgson tried to explain this
both to himself and about himself One can trace the unitary
philosophy from Elias Ashmole [1 7th century British alche-
mist, author o/The Way of Bliss and fr)under of Oxford's
Ashmolean Museum], wherein one can contact reality in a
region of pure truth. Materialists, said Prof. Ackerman-Ballou,
cannot approach this. Dodgson shared this concern about
limiting his vision to material things. The fairy duet in the
book demonstrates this philosophy, as well as the narrator's
disquisition on the church service as an end in itself.
The character of Sylvie shows in her song, "For I
think it is love...." It was an older and more spiritually evolved
Dodgson who wrote Sylvie and Bruno as opposed to the
Alice books. Love is now the centerpiece of his spirituality.
The narrator quotes Plotinus, a founder of mystic thought.
The medium of beauty, universal intelligence, and the uni-
versal soul overshadows us and the essence of immortality
is beauty itself.
Professor Ackermann-Ballou ended her talk by
pointing out that Through the Looking Glass is the founda-
tion in Dodgson's writings for the expression of these be-
liefs, and Sylvie and Bruno was the house he built upon it.
The next order of business was the election of offic-
ers for the coming two year term. The slate offered was as
follows: President Joel Birenbaum; Vice President Stephanie
Stofifel; Secretary Ellie Luchinsky; Treasurer Francine Abeles;
and Board Members Donald Rackin and Kathleen Rossman.
There were no nominations from the floor and the slate passed.
In other news, Katsuko Kasai, Anne Clark Amor,
and Sarah Stanfield are beginning a project to restore the
graves of Dodgson's siblings, Edward and five sisters. They
will raise money by selling tapes of readings. Where and
how to order them will be in a subsequent Knight Letter
Joel announced that the next meeting will be at New
York University on April 19, 1997. It will coincide with the
ABA book fair, £ind will honor Martin Gardner. At the end of
October, 1997, we will meet at St. Johns University in
CoUegeville, Minnesota, which will coincide with the first
"Conference on Creativity". This will be the beginning of the
centennial commemoration of Dodgson's death.
The next speaker was Professor George P. Landow
of Brown University, talking about the Victorian Website he
has sponsored and the glories of hypertext. His background
includes a Master's degree from both Princeton and Brandeis,
and a doctorate from Princeton.
The thrust of his talk concentrated on the differ-
ence between fixed text, that is the printed word, and hypertext.
A thousand years ago, he reminded us, students learned by
taking dictation of ideas and texts in school. The way things
were thus taken down were difficult to read. There were not
even spaces between words until about 1000 A.D. It was
believed that students should not be allowed to read to them-
selves, as they could get into trouble. When the printed word
became available, educators worried that education would
Professor Landow emphasized that computing is
not an alien technology. The most dangerous technology is
language written down. It is a case of loss and gain. Texts,
when printed, are "dead", unchanging, and the memories of
people who depend on reading them become weaker. Chaucer
was distorted by being printed. Also, printed books were
considered ugly. Books could decay, were copied over and
accidentally changed, in a sort of "scribal drift".
It was a new idea to disburse as many books as
possible. The world of modem scholarship depends upon a
In the elecfronic world of "Cyberspace" and the
Hagar the Horrible by Chris Browne
yoi}'(ze Ma\/ii^ ^o\vav
eUA^K AMP TM^N fO(2
\\^\\-X yo\S^t WA^\^(B^
m tAf^U-'^'^r^'?^^ l^JAS ^■ ^oajvtK^^eo 566!" ^r- g^^^MfU-
World Wide Web, we have to work with the network text in
that we can all add something. This has changed the concept
of authorship. There is now a fluid notion of what an author
is. Writing is an exotic and exciting achievement, and elec-
tronic writing through codes is fundamentally different from
the past. It is there, but not there.
With the electronic book we sacrifice physical plea-
sure, such as curling up with a good edition. However, the
electronic book has a very practical use. For example, the
instruction manual for a 747 jet weighs more than the jet
itself. Having the book on-line saves space, time, and the
aggravation of updates. With the electronic book, we have
lost the concept of the origin of materials. We can no longer,
for instance, trust photographs. Art can lose its uniqueness.
The electronic book can be duplicated infinitely and sent
Prof. Landow showed a student's term paper, which
was published on the Internet. Here the text can include sound
and motion. Since it is digitized, it can become hypertext. The
reader can look at footnotes, consult other books, and other-
wise participate in the term paper, without leaving her chair.
He then gave a brief history of hypertext
multisequential writing, which, he pointed out, is becoming
more like medieval writing, where the visual is also a part of
We all then jumped into Cyberspace for a tour of
the Victorian Web (http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/
hypertext/landow/victov.html). Professor Landow ended by
inviting contributions to his web site. Instructions are on the
site. [You were expecting a printed copy, maybe?]
A Yiddish Jabbenvocl^
[August's inquiry about Yiddish translations of Carroll ma-
terial led me to contact my godfather, Professor Leonard
Wolf, a respected Yiddish poet and translator Although there
are no known projects to translate the Alice books (aside
from the young student mentioned in KL 51), he did find this
translation of "Jabberwocky" by Rafael Finkel of Lexing-
ton, Kentucky (firstname.lastname@example.org). It is posted in its He-
brew characters at http://www. cs. uky. edu/~raphael/yiddish/
jabber html and reproduced with his kind permission in both
ibergezetst: Refoyl finkl
s'iz brilik geven. di shlikhtinke toves
hobn gevirt un gevimlt in vobn.
gants mimzish geven di borogoves;
di mome-ret hot oysgegrobn.
— dokh hit zikh fam yomervokh!
tseyn vos zey khapn; kreln-shpits!
fam yubyub foygl hit zikh;
vaykht fun froymdikn bandershnits!
er nemt in hand dem vorpler kling
dem soyne hot er lang gezukht.
gerut arum an eyts-tumtum,
fartrakht, hot es gedukht.
beys shteyt er in gedankn oyf,
der yomervokh, mit fayer-oygn,
mit vifek kumt durkh tulgikn vald,
geburblt beys gefloygn.
eyns, tsvey! eyns tsvey! mit vey, mit vey,
der vorpler shverd makht shnoker-shnik.
er shekht im op, un mit zayn kop
gelompik geyt tsurik.
— geteyt hostu dem yomervokh?
nem mikh arum, mayn beymish kind.
o yontef groys! khalayn, khaloys,
er tshortlt un er zingt.
s'iz brilik geven. di shlikhtinke toves
hobn gevirt un gevimlt in vobn.
gants mimzish geven di borogoves;
di mome-ret hot oysgegrobn.
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.pHIJUJO'lH tjsn t?u-i-yD«D '1
!-]STnyD«* pyr -)'' ^"^ l^"" —
!p-s\2;-i'7U-ip ;)S)SD -r osn ps
;Tt vr\ '7y^s 3V3V jiss
!p-ji2;-iy-i)«3 p'-iD'ns ps iddvh
.ODnyj vvb ly osn n)w ovn
.Dit3Dit3-py li? 011^ tjnyj
.ODnyj oy o«n .ODSitJ-iHS
.«l"iH )pjy-iyj ]•« -iy vow ny3
,]j'is"iy:r o'd ,i«inyDH' -ly-i
,n'7STi ip-j'^itj -|-ii-i tJDip pys'Ti b'o
.p'l'^syj nya tD':?3-myj
••11 O'D "ll tl'D !"11S C'K '"Tl'i .OyH
.p-W—\VpH)W ODSD JJ^'?p -iy'?s-)v,ii -ii,'-I
9sp p VD ps .sx O'M tjoyir -ly
.p-iis tj-j p^5o^'?yj
7l«Ti-iyos^ Dvn iDOsn vvvi —
."irp wD"n ]"D ons -]-o dv)
©•fryiD r-':'HJ 'o-nj 5it3-Dv y
.virf ~iy ]is o'T'CiiHutj iy
oyuMtJ i.'pn^n^':'!:' -i ,)ynyj p-':?--)^ rs o
.psn I'M tJ':'0'Tiyj ps e-i'iiyj pyn
.0yTi>tjv<-is3 -I |yiiyj \LnD->D pJSJ
.psijyjo^is t?sn ey-i-yoso -\
Ravings from the Writing Desk
of Joel Birenbaum
I lappy New Year! Ihis wish may come a little late,
but it is my first opportunity. I think the next two years will be
very exciting, with all the activity surrounding the centenary
ofCarrolTs death in 1 898. To give you a flavor of a side effect
of a Jewish upbringing, I'm already worried that we will have
a letdown in 1 999. It's never too early to start worrying.
Our Spring meeting will be at New York University
and promises to be an especially interesting one. For one, we
will be celebrating the contributions of Martin Gardner to the
popularity of Lewis Carroll in a talk by Fran Abeles. There
have been several events over the years that have caused
spikes in the interest level in Carroll. These include the expi-
ration of the copyright of Alice s Adventures in Wonderland
in 1 907, the centenary of Carroll's birth in 1 932, the publica-
tion of The Annotated Alice in 1 960, the publication of "The
Wasp in a Wig" in 1 977, and the centenary of Carroll's death
in 1998. The last is a bit of forward thinking on my part. I'm
not sure that Martin Gardner's book in 1960 wasn't the one
that did most for increasing Carroll's popularity. Martin is the
first to say that others have done much more in the area of
Carroll scholarship, but I think no one has done more to
bring the Alice books to a new generation.
Rounding out the program for the Spring meeting
are Jeff Ellis and Chatham Ewing, both addressing us for the
first time. Jeffs talk will be on the Victorian photographic
process, using Carroll's photo of Agnes Weld as a reference
point; Chatham will speak on the Carroll's humor- talks which
promise to be informative and entertaining. Again we will be
reminded of the multifaceted nature of Carroll's genius.
As luck would have it, the Esperance Theatre
Company's production of "My Alice" will be showing at the
Hamlet of Bank Street Theatre located at 1 55 West Bank Street
in the West Village. This description comes from the theater
group advertising: "'My Alice' is the haunted love story
between Mr. Carroll and his 'ideal friend,' Alice Liddell. The
playwright explores Carroll's obsession with Alice while docu-
menting his journey to becoming a renowned poet and au-
thor It is a brilliant integration of Charles' fantasy life (through
the poignant appearances of the characters in the Alice
books) and his reality." Performances run April 1 1-20. We
will be getting a group of tickets for the 8:00 p.m. perfor-
mance on the night of our meeting, Saturday, April 19. Spe-
cific information will come with the meeting notice.
There will be also be readings from Carroll's works
for children at the Donnell Library on the day after our meet-
ing Sunday, April 20. This event is being sponsored by our
Maxine Schaefer Outreach Fund. Books will be given to the
children and the library.
Meanwhile, for book lovers, the Antiquarian
Bookshow will be on at the Armory while we are in town.
The Fall meeting will mark the opening of the cente-
nary celebrations. In order to allow for many of us to attend
several of the centenary celebrations, they have been dis-
tributed over a year's time. This meeting will be in conjunc-
tion with a Conference on Creativity to be held at St. John's
University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The conference titled
"fhe Creative Imagination of Lewis Carroll" will feature
LCSN A charter member and the author of a marvelous recent
biography, Morton Cohen, and also our own Professor Fran
Abeles. Some of the events scheduled are a production of
Alice 's Adventures, a concert of music inspired by Carroll's
work, talks on Carroll's thoughts on how committees make
decisions and his theories on logic and mathematics, a Mad
Hatter's Tea Party, and much more. Students will be involved
in giving presentations and planning creativity "stations".
The conference will take place on Friday and Saturday, Octo-
ber 17-18. We will make arrangements for lodging etc. for
those who can attend for the entire time. I implore you to
consider planning a trip to Minnesota to join us. I think the
atmosphere will be that of a Lewis Carroll retreat, away from
the big city (but not so far away that you can't hop over to
Everyone is heartily encouraged to participate in
the Carroll centenary celebrations both here and abroad. They
may be the last major Carroll celebrations in our lifetime.
For those who didn't understand the answer to the
"Why is a Raven like a writing desk?" riddle in the last issue,
here is the explanation. The answer was, "Each in its own
way is a dark wing site". Well a Raven certainly has dark
wings and "a writing desk" is an anagram for "dark wing
site". That is another fine answer that Carroll never intended.
Check out our website for even more! !
"But just when custom and
ceremony should most incline me
toward worship, I may have to
contend with a fit of the giggles.
Was that what ailed Lewis
Carroll, I wonder? Religion and
mathematics, two realms in
which humour seems to be
wholly out of place, drove him to
write the Alice books."
The Rebel Angels
"Stephanie Bolster's first book of poetry. White Stone: the
Alice poems, draws its inspiration from the icons of Alice in
Wonderland and the real Alice Liddell. The collection is forth-
coming from Signal Editions/Vehicule Press (Montreal) in
Spring 1998. In 1995 she won the Bronwen Wallace Award,
given to the most promising Canadian poet under thirty-five
who has not yet published a first book. She holds an M.F.A.
in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.
Originally from Vancouver, she currently lives in Ottawa."
The following poem was previously published in The
Capilano Review, Series 2, No. 2, Winter 1 994, a literary jour-
nal published in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
25 April, 1856
First the flood of chemicals,
collodion and silver nitrate,
then forty-five long seconds
of stillness, and you only four
and quick. Did you meet through a simple
raising of eyebrows, curious:
you about these two tall men
with cumbersome paraphernalia, him
about these three little girls
playing in the Deanery garden?
He was twenty-four then, did not choose you
as his favourite until the Adventures
six years later. But something began
that afternoon, marked in his diary
with a white stone. What would hatch
out of it? Your brown hair a thatch, straight
across the forehead, your blue eyes
tight buds. Spring everywhere threatening
to open you both: tense and ticking
in the unfurling garden, during the long exposure.
KUBARK Counterintelligence Interroga-
tion, the secret C.I. A. handbook on interro-
gation, published in 1963 and recently declas-
sified, according to an article in the New York
Times, February 9, 1997, contains the follow-
ing description: "The Alice in Wonderland
technique is designed not only to obliterate
the familiar but to replace it with the
weird.... A double-talk question is (followed
by) a wholly unrelated and equally illogical
query.... day after day.... The subject begins
to try to make sense of the situation, which
becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is
likely to make significant admissions, or even
pour out his story, just to stop the flow of
babble which assails him."
TTLG Chess Set
Children's illustrator, sculptor, and doll-, figurine-,
and jewelry-designer Jacqueline Bardner Smith of Cape Coral,
Florida has crafted a loving tribute to Lewis Carroll in the
form of a unique chess set entitled "Through the Looking-
Glass". It's been a twenty year labor of love.
All sixteen pawns are different characters; an ex-
quisitely rendered Carroll himself is the White Knight; the
Queens and Humpty Dumpty are kittens (as Alice "prattled
on" to Dinah about in TTLCs last chapter). The pieces (4"-
6" high) are hand-painted cold cast porcelain and are set on
an etched, mirrored glass game board.
Jacqueline has two handmade sets and all the molds,
and would be happy to hear from any LCSNA members who
are curious about the set, or who have any ideas about de-
veloping and marketing this as a product. Concepts, Etc.
1 342 SE 1 2th Terrace, Cape Coral FL 33990. 94 1 .772.4 1 54.
I. eaves from the Deanery Garden
I am a graduate student of linglish Literature at the Univer-
sity of Milan and I am about to prepare a project involving
the Italian translations oi' Alice in Wonderland dwd the criti-
cal writings since its publication. I am trying to track down all
My work is still in an embryonic stage, that is, I'm collecting
information and trying to find a fi-amework. The work must be
original (nothing or almost nothing must exist on the same
subject) and very circumscribed. Part of it will be about the
translations, of course: my teacher wants me to work on all
the editions but it would take me a thousand years to do it. I
had thought about working on one chapter, but still when I
have looked everywhere for all existing editions, how can I
be sure that I have found ALL of them? I may miss the most
important or the most original, that's why I need a framework
in which to place the information. I had thought about com-
paring some editions (let's say every 10 years) together with
the theories about how society sees tales and fables in that
period. But that looks like a far-away nebula: too many plan-
ets to explore.
I will be very grateful for any suggestions and any help is
more than welcome.
1-221 00 Como, Italy
I have been wondering for some time whether anyone has
ever taken the trouble to undertake serious research con-
cerning Lewis Carroll's miniature psychological theory (which
he puts forward in Feeding the Mind) about attention and
learning. It would be quite interesting (I think) to know how
much of this theory is correct (or rather: how much of this
theory is supported by current psychological theory and
research). Personally, I would find it rather surprising (as well
as slightly disturbing) if a theory, invented by someone with
no real psychological knowledge (which is not surprising,
considering the fact that psychology as a science hardly
existed yet in Carroll's lifetime), would be really accurate,
especially since this theory is based largely on introspec-
tion, a notoriously unreliable source for scientific theory. I
would be really grateful for any correspondence on the sub-
H. Cleyndertweg 5, kamer 4
1025 DE Amsterdam
"Or was it Llandudno?" Further to the comment headed "Or
was it Ina?" (KL 53) about the note by Lewis Carroll's niece
Violet Dodgson, preserved in the Guildford Muniment Room,
this document, headed "Cut pages in diary" (slightly differ-
ent from your version) aroused great interest during the 1 996
summer weekend of the l.ewis Carroll Society, held at Guildford
The "illegible" words in Karoline Leach's transcript are quite
clear in the original. Perhaps the page is worth quoting in its
Cut pages in Diary
Vol 8 Page 72 - Alice not improved by being laid up.
Vol 8 Page 92. L.C. learns from Mrs. Liddell that he is
supposed to be using the children as a means of paying
court to the governess - He is also supposed by some to
be courting Ina.
Vol 1 1 Page 1 1 - is about S.H.D.
Does anyone know what the "business with Lord Newry"
was which put L.C. out of "Mrs. Liddell's good graces"
Some would argue that the answer to the latter question is to
be found in Lewis Carroll's diary entry for 25 May 1862:
"Talked to Lord Newry about the difficulty the College are in
about the ball: the two parties cannot agree on the rules and
I am afraid much ill-feeling will result."
However, having helped censor that entry from the notes
made available to Roger Lancelyn Green, for his 1954 version
of the diaries, one is leflt wondering why Violet Dodgson
needed to pose her question, if that was indeed the answer.
Even more intriguing is the fact that Viscountess Newry spent
much of the summer of 1 862 at Winson House, Llandudno, at
the opposite end of the street leading to Dean Liddell's new
holiday home, Penmorfa. According to local tradition, voiced
at least as long ago as 1898, that was the summer during
which Lewis Carroll also visited Llandudno. Was Viscount-
ess Newry accompanied on her visit by her 20-year-oId stu-
dent son, Francis Charles, Lord Newry? Alas, the diary that
might help us is missing.
Dean Liddell took possession of the completed Penmorfa on
16 August 1862 (contrary to the nonsense written by the
Dean's biographer, the Reverend H.L.Thompson) and he and
his family used the Llandudno house for many years, selling
it in 1 873. At the nearby Church of Our Saviour a memorial
font to the Reverend C.L.Dodgson was dedicated in 1912.
Unfortunately, Llandudno's very definite links with that
golden age were promptly side-stepped in 1933 when some
well-meaning but ignorant benefactors gave the town its
White Rabbit memorial (outside the Dean's former house)
claiming it was there that Carroll was inspired to write his
Alice books. That ridiculous inscription, unveiled by local
Member of Parliament David Lloyd George (the Prime Minis-
ter during World War I) still stands, blinding CarroUian schol-
ars to the interesting truth behind the local folk memory.
Ivor Wynne Jones
Llandudno, North Wales
I was interested in "A Poem and Two Limericks" on page 3 of
the Knight Letter, No. 53. The poem you cite is the initial
stanza of the first main word of the first riddle. However, the
first line reads, "Yet what are all such gaieties to me?". I
believe this must be the correct line because the one in the
newsletter [printed as "Yet what are all such thoughts to
him? "] does not have the proper rhythm, nor does it follow
the rhyme pattern which Carroll almost invariably used.
This may be very trivial, but it bothered me. I had no idea the
formula could be solved.
The two mathematical limericks, fortunately with the proper
way to read them on page 9, are also fim. Thanks for printing
Mea culpa. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Thank you for the limericks on page 3 of AZ #53. They are
fabulous. Thanks again. In my defense [the writer was mock-
ingly "accused" of ignoring us; actually, we were hoping
he might speak at some future gathering], let me say that
during the last 25 years whenever I gave a talk on Lewis
Carroll I used an overhead projector and one of my transpar-
encies and one of my hand-outs advertised the LCSN A.
One query: did the second Alice story take place on Novem-
ber 4 because of EC's interest in contrasts and opposites? In
a way November 4 is the opposite of May 4. They are exactly
six months apart: there is no date on the calendar further
away fi"om May 4 than November 4.
One other thing: please keep up the good work.
Department of Mathematics
Rowan College of New Jersey
Thank you, Bob. The date question has been addressed in
Martin Gardner 's classic Tlie Annotated Alice (AW Chap-
ter 7, note 4 and TTLG Chapter 1, note 1). He also points
out that AW is a sunny, outdoor book, while TTLG is wintry
and indoors. May 4 was of course Alice's birthday (and
November 4 her true "un-birthday"?) . But why should we
believe her? The hatter said she was 'two days wrong"
even though his was not the most reliable of watches. " 'What
a funny watch! ' she remarked. 'It tells the day of the month,
and doesn 't tell what o 'clock it its!'" This was before the
advent of digital watches.
A final contribution:
I used to think math was no fun
Could never see how it was done
Now Euler 's my hero
And I dig why
I am a novelist who has written a fantasy set in Victorian
England, titled Lorien Lost. If you will permit me, I'll tell you
just a little about it, as I suspect that enthusiasts of Carroll
will find this book of particular interest.
My fascination with Carroll's work goes back as far as 1 can
remember. Though it might sound odd to say that a world as
bizarre and bewildering as Wonderland feels like home to me,
there is a sense in which it really does, even now, as an adult.
I am deeply fond of that land, and that fondness was one of
the wellsprings upon which I drew my inspiration to write
Lorien Lost. Other inspirations included George MacDonald
and Charles Dickens. I find myself drawn to the Victorian era
and the particular kind of fantasies written at that time. In the
early development of the novel I decided that the story I
most wanted to tell somehow belonged in that setting, and
needed to be told in the same spirit.
My editor immediately identified my enthusiasm for Carroll -
and, I was glad to learn, shared it. She devised a graphic
design which resembles 19th century fantasy novels - a
squarish hardcover illustrated with 50 black and white en-
gravings, and featuring on the cover a painting by the En-
glish Victorian painter Myles Birket Foster. I'm truly pleased
with the design, as I feel it accurately reflects the mood and
tone of the story.
Lorien Lost has just been released and is available in book-
stores. Its home page is http://www.networds.com/lorienlost/
home.html, and I thought you might like to visit the site.
/ look forward to reading your novel - it has garnered rave
reviews from The Washington Post, Kirkus, Ray Bradbury,
and a host of others. A Wyatt Book for St. Martin's Press,
The Universe in a Handkerchief, Lewis Carroll 's Mathemati-
cal Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays by Martin
Gardner, New York: Springer Verlag/Copemicus, 1996. 0-387-
Comments by Francine F. Abeles
As Mark Burstein wrote in his review (KL 53),
Gardner initially wrote the work for The Pamphlets of Lewis
Carroll, an ongoing series of volumes published by the
This book is the culmination of Gardner's writings
on Carroll's games and puzzles, an enterprise he began in
March 1 960 in the "Mathematical Games" column of Scien-
tific American that he editied from December 1 956 until De-
cember 1981. As Burstein described the book, it contains
facsimiles of some of Carroll's obscure pamphlets, but errors
too. We can be grateful to Gardner, now 82, for completing
the task and even forgive him for the editing flaws.
Gardner's affmity for Carroll is widely known, and
his gift, insightful commentary giving the background for
each piece, encourages the reader to try his hand at the
puzzles. One of these, a "syzygy", is illustrated below.
If you're curious about rules for this word chain, or
want to know who Carr is, you'll have to read pp. 1 44 - 7 and
68 - 70 of Gardner's book.
[My somewhat disparaging remarks on Gardner 's latest opus
were in no way meant to reflect any disrespect for the great-
est of all Carrol lian scholar/mathematicians. My admira-
tion for his ouvre knows no bounds.]
The Hunting of the Snark: Second Expedition by Peter
Wesley-Smith, Cherry Books, P.O. Box 258, Camperdown
NSW 2050, Australia.
Review by Stephanie Stoffel
Ersatz Lewis Carroll has almost as long a history as
the real thing: over a century separates Eva 's Adventures in
Shadow-Land from Alice Through the Needle s Eye. The
legion of NeocarroUian offerings ranges from outright rip-
offs through honest attempts to write in the genre to the
loving hommages of admiring
fans. Peter Wesley-Smith's volume
seems to belong in the last cat-
Billed as "An Ecstasy, in
Eight Fits and Starts", it opens by wrapping up the particu-
lars of the original journey, which, distressingly, only the
Billiard-marker and the Broker survived. The conceit of the
second hunt is that a Candlestick-maker, disgruntled at hav-
ing been left behind by his companions, the Butcher and the
Baker of the nursery rhyme, organizes an expedition of col-
leagues who all are known by names beginning with "C".
These comrades, including a Cartographer, a Contralto, and
a Crocodile, assemble; search unsuccessfiiUy and all but
uneventfully; and finally, in the midst of regretting their hu-
bris, stumble across their quarry.
This book is a pleasant enough entertainment, re-
plete with references and in-jokes for admirers of The Hunt-
ing of the Snark. The humor depends largely on a number of
puns (a guitar frets, no turn is left unstoned) and on some
mild absurdity. As Elizabeth Sewell led her audience to con-
clude at a past LCSNA meeting, true nonsense is hard to
create and harder to define, though like so many things, we
know it when we see it. Mr. Wesley-Smith has not managed
the alchemy of wit, whimsy, amorality, and logic required to
concoct Carrollian nonsense; still, CarroUians and collectors
will want this little confection.
[/ don 't believe Peter 's ambition was to create a work on a
par with the original. For me, he has succeeded in creating
an amusing piece of versification, which also has some quite
engaging illustrations. De gustibus and all that. ]
A Meager Organ Rant
Jack the Ripper: "Light-hearted Friend" by Richard
Wallace. Gemini Press. 0-9627195-6-0
Review by Terbium Snark
Readers looking for a textbook case of abnormal
psychology or an exhibition of how excessive, ah, self-indul-
gence may damage the brain need seek no farther than Rich-
ard Wallace, whose vile, purulent spewings are the diseased
projections of an enfeebled mind. Taking refuge in the last
possible resort of the clueless reinterpreter, he probes with
anagrams, of all things, the "revelations" inherent in the text
which "identif(y) famous children's author Lewis Carroll as
the vicious killer [Jack the Ripper] who retaliated against co-
ercive parents who abandoned him to years of sexual abuse
at public school." (see http://www.bookworld.com/
jackripper/ if you must).
Anagrams as a tool of scholarhip are worthless out-
puts of "Clever Dick"s, and a far cry from anything intellec-
tual and even further from anything intelligent. We are all
fond of them in their recreational aspects, but Richard Wallace
("arched claw liar" ) flailing away with an "anagram genera-
tor" (whose scrambled letters provide the title of this article)
hardly constitutes much substantive proof
There is a long history of such spurious research.
There was, for instance, Oedipus in Disneyland, which inter-
preted the Alice books as the secret sex diaries of Queen
Victoria. It was a tongue-in-cheek rendering, full of ribaldry
and drug-flieled madness, and was quite amusing. Twenty
years later, the author, David Rosenbaum, no longer hiding
behind the pseudonym "Hercules Molloy" but coming out
as "The Continental Historical Society", published Queen
Victoria s Alice in Wonderland, which had completely lost
its sense of himior, took itself far too seriously, and became
merely irritating. Similarly, Dr. Abraham Ettleson's take on
A W and Through the Looking-Glass Decoded, which also
employed anagrams to "prove" that Dodgson was Jewish,
are somewhat enjoyable for their inherent silliness. But this
present book is malicious, obscene, disgusting and infuriat-
ing. Wallace claims to be a "child psychologist". I wouldn't
let any children within miles of him.
The Lewis Carroll Review (of books)
This fine small-format publication has recently been
launched (4 issues to date) and comes with normal member-
ship in the (British) Lewis Carroll Society. It is edited by Alan
White from membership contributions. Enquiries to The Re-
views Editor, 69 Cromwell Road, Hertford, Herts, SGI 3 7DP,
U.K. The Lewis Carroll Society can be reached at Acorns,
Dargate, near Faversham, Kent, MEl 3 9HG, U.K.
The redoubtable Ms. Karoline Leach is at it again.
After "proving" that Dodgson had eyes for Alice's older
sister Ina, she has now recanted her former position and is
convinced that the "Ina" in question was not Alice's sister,
but her mother! Be prepared for another media onslaught
similar to the outcry when it was "proven" that Queen Victoria
wrote the Alice books.
In the January 12, 1997 issue of The Sunday Times
(London), an article entitled "The Curiouser Case of Alice's
Mother", says "In a break with current biographical trends,
where authors specialise in unearthing the unusual sexual
peccadilloes of the famous dead, the latest study of the Vic-
torian writer will reveal that he had surprisingly orthodox
tastes: he had an affair with his boss's wife. . .Carroll's secret,
according to Karoline Leach, author of a new biography of
the writer, was not that he fancied Alice, but that he had an
adulterous affair with her mother, Lorina Liddell.
The affair was a closely guarded secret since a scan-
dal could have ended the young Carroll's academic career, as
well as imdermining the standing of Henry Liddell at Christ
Church. . .
She is holding back most of her discoveries until
her book. In the Shadow of Sin, is published by Peter Owen
to coincide with the 1 00th anniversary of Carroll's death next
winter. ...'There is no other indication of interest in Alice's
14-year-old sister and Carroll never showed much interest in
adolescent girls. He did enjoy the company of mature women,
but he also was a snob... the governess would simply not
have done.' said Ms. Leach.
The mother of the Liddell family was, according to
her contemporary, the painter W B Richmond, 'remarkably
beautiful, of a Spanish type'. She was only five years older
than Carroll who, despite his stutter, was regarded as some-
thing of a witty dandy in Oxford circles. This was in contrast
to Henry Liddell who, 1 4 years older than his wife, worked at
the same desk for 50 years and even by Victorian standards
was regarded as dull and stuffy.
'Carroll was never a paedophile, latent or otherwise.
His life and creativity were shaped by a traumatic relation-
ship with an adult woman, whom I believe to be Lorina Liddell.
Other scholars have swallowed the post-Freudian line but,
seen with an unbiased eye, there is at least as much evidence
pointing to a more conventional sexual pathology.'
There was also the evidence of a mysterious meet-
ing between Carroll and Liddell at Guildford station, in true
Brief Encounter fashion. There the couple were disturbed
apparently discussing whether she should take a summer
home on the Thames, closer to his family home in Guildford.
The move never took place. But Leach says she
now knows how and why the relationship exploded in 1 868.
'Let us just say it all happened very quickly and was deeply
painful for the writer. And it was nothing to do with concerns
that he was growing too close to Alice.'"
Ms. Leach's "evidence" is a scrap of paper claimed
to be in the handwriting of his niece, and purported to have
been found in the family archive at Guildford. As it is written:
"There's more evidence to come yet, please your
Majesty," said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a
great hurry: "this paper has just been picked up."
"WTiat's in it?" said the Queen.
"I haven't opened it yet," said the White Rabbit, but
it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to — to
"It must have been that," said the King, "unless it
was written to nobody, which isn't usual, you know."
"Who is it directed to?" said one of the jurymen.
"It isn't directed at all," said the White Rabbit; "in
fact, there's nothing written on the outside." He
unfolded the paper as he spoke, and added, "It isn't a
letter, after all: it's a set of verses."
"Are they in the prisoner's handwriting?" asked
another of the jurymen.
"No, they're not, said the White Rabbit, "and that's
the queerest thing about it." (The jury all looked
Consider your verdict...
Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexi-
con in its ninth edition, with a revised
supplement, is being published by
Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1 .800.45 1 .7556.
Semiotcs and Linguistics in Alice's
Worlds, Walter de Gruyter, 1 994, ed. by
Rachel Fordyce and Carla Marello. is the
fascinating proceedings of an interna-
tional conference. 3-1 1-013894-8.
Fata Morgana by William Kotzwinkle,
Marlowe & Co. 1996, a metaphysical
mystery, has a cover design which fea-
tures the Julia Cameron photograph of
Alice as an adult. It's uncredited.
Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland, Il-
lustrated by Jeff Fisher, Bloomsbury
Classics, 1995 0-7475-2284-X. ". . .most
original and innovative... deceptively
simple solid black shapes that are at the
same time subtly expressive." - Alan
White in Lewis Carroll Review (LCR).
Lewis Carroll: A potrait with Back-
ground by Donald Thomas, John
Murray, 1996, 0-7195-5323-7. "While
Thomas offers us no real new insights
into Charles Dodgson. . .the promise of
the books subtitle fulfills itself The his-
torical splashes deserve a read."- Mor-
ton Cohen in LCR
Journal of the American Psychoana-
lytic Association, Vol. 14, No.2, April
1966. "Altered Body-Ego Experiences:
A Contribution to the Study of Regres-
sion, Perception, and Early Develop-
ment" by Michael A. Woodbury dis-
cusses AW. Vol 22, No. 1, 1974 "The
Metaphor of the Mirror" by Leondard
Shengold discusses TTLG.
Mathematics Magazine, Vol. 69, No. 3,
June 1996. "Proof of a Conjecture of
Lewis Carroll" by Norbert Hungerbiihler.
Dodgson's conjectural diary entry
about infinitely many three equal ratio-
nal-sided right-angled triangles has
Philosophy and Literature, Vol. 20, No.
1, April 1996 contains "Secrecy and
Autonomy in Lewis Carroll" by Susan
Sherer of the University of Virginia.
Natural History, Vol. 105, November
1996. "The Dodo in the Caucus Race"
by Stephen Jay Gould discusses meta-
phor and evolution, based on Carroll's
Journal of Experimental Psychology:
Learning, Memory and Cognition, Vol.
22, No. 2, 1 996. "Language-Driven Con-
cept Learning: Deciphering Jabber-
wocky" by Angel Cabrera and Dorrit
International Journal of Mechanical
Sciences, Volume 39, No. 1, 1997. "In
support of Todhunter: Euclid and his
Modern Rivals by Charles Lutwidge
Dodgson (1832-1898) alias Lewis
Carroll" by W. Johnson. [Isaac
Todhunter was a 19th century textbook
writer & science historian. ]
The Threepenny Review, Winter 1997
"Some Notes on Reading" by Robert
Pinsky explores the nature of reading
through his relationship v^'iih AW.
Places and Events
Through the Looking Glass is "a won-
derland of clothing and gifts for chil-
dren" at the Powers Ferry Square Shop-
ping Center in Atlanta GA.
Abracadabra! Children's Theatre in At-
lanta GA presents a new stage version
of^W^for kids 3-8. Weekends through
April 14th. 1.404.897.1802.
The Alden Theater in McLean, Virginia,
is presenting a young actor's produc-
tion of AW May 2 - 11th, and a Mad
Hatter Tea Party on May 10th.
The Puppetworks, Inc. present AW at
Park Slope theater in New York, week-
ends until mid- April. 1 .7 1 8.965.339 1 .
The Alice in Wonderland Ballet will be
performed by the Sarasota Ballet of
Florida at the Van Wezel Performing Arts
Hall at Florida State University on April
18 -20 at 2 and 8 PM. 94 1.359.0771.
"Hunting of the Snark" Potluck #7:
"Seek it with thimbles and care; pursue
it with forks and hope (and spoons,
knives, plates and cups). The Crew
lands at Burton Chace Park's Picnic Shel-
ter in Marina del Rey, California at 6:30
pm on Tuesday, April 1st, 1997. Sierra
Singles Leader Rich Boothe will host
this seventh sort-of-annual Potluck
Supper and recitation-cwm-reading of
Lewis Carroll's mad epic poem, TTie Hunt-
ing of the Snark. Everyone is welcome."
Contact Richard M. Boothe at R O. Box
74 1 444, Los Angeles, C A 90004-9444 or
The Miller South School for Visual and
Performing Arts in Akron OH will
present AW May 30-31. It is billed as
being faithfiil to the text with no Look-
ing-Glass characters running around.
With orchestral accompaniment, dance
sequences, and a Mad Tea Party pre-
ceding the performance on Saturday
night. Call 330.374.02 1 6 for information.
Travelers passing through Florence
(Firenze), Italy might wish to stop at the
Dali collection in the Museo Santa Croce
to visit his Alice lithographs. The "girl
with a rope" motif running through his
illustrations to AW is seen in sculptural
form, with a bare-breasted woman with
flowers replacing her head and hands
titled "Alice au Pays des Merveilles"
The Lewis Carroll Discussion Board is
finally here. The URL is http://
"The Rabbit Hole" has a new item, a
model of the Liddell family holiday home
in Llandudno as it was in the 1 860s. The
house was called Penmorfa in those
days, although today it is The Gogarth
Abbey Hotel. The model stands ap-
proximately 1 6 cm high and 1 4'/2 cm wide,
and bears the title on the base "Alice
Liddell's Home, 'Penmorfa',
Llandudno". It is very detailed, natural
dark stone in colour, with muted green
tinting of grass and shrubs. The sculp-
tor is producing "Penmorfa" as a lim-
ited edition (500) and the price is £35.00,
plus post/packing. Further information
from: Muriel & Murray Ratcliffe, The
Rabbit Hole (Llzindudno) Limited, Alice
in Wonderland Centre, 3 & 4 Trinity
Square, Llandudno, North Wales, LL30
2PY. Tel/fex (01 492) 860082. Email alice@
wonderland.co.uk. or check out
"Miyukichan in Wonder-
land" Laser Disk. "Miyuki
wakes up a bit late and when
she hurries to school she is
overtaken by a girl in a bunny
suit on a skateboard. Sud-
denly a hole in the sidewalk
opens up..." Fans of Japa-
nese anime may wish to in-
vestigate this. It's apparently
a bit risque in sections. The
OVA LD and drama CD are
available through Sony En-
11 "x 14" Holograms of Alice
going through the looking-
glass and the Jabberwock are
available for $1 36 each from
Holograms & Lasers Interna-
tional, 1200 Mckinney, Suite
433, Houston, TX 77010.
photographs of "Carroll,
Louis.. .(who) wrote Alice's
Adventurews in Wonder-
land" [sic] may be ordered in sizes from
8x 1 to 1 1 X 1 4, matted and/or framed ($ 1 5
- $60, depending) from The Artists Proof,
7405 Colshire Drive, McLean, VA 22 1 02.
1 .703 .82 1 .0997 or email@example.com
The Disney Magic Thimble Collection
includes Alice on a mushroom . Sub-
scriptions to the 24 thimbles ($ 1 7-25 each
with s&h) from the Lenox Collections,
PO.Box 3020, Langhome PA 19047-
An Alice cashmere and silk scarf of a
1920 C.F.A.Voysey design in the prints
and drawings collection of the Victoria
and Albert Museum is available for $ 1 95
from Museum Collections, 100 Enter-
prise Place, PO.Box 7103, Dover, DE
"The Maxx" is a mentally disturbed
homeless man who lives in parallel uni-
verses and whose animated adventures
are on MTV and in comic books pub-
lished by Image. Issue #28 is purported
to be an Alice parody.
The A W Deck & Book Set mentioned
last issue has won a "Dr. Toy 1 00 Best
Henry Fumiss's "Peter and Paul" from Sylvie and Bruno
Children's Products 1 996" designation
for its publisher, U.S.Games Systems of
179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT 06902.
Fantasies of studying with our
favorite Don at Oxford are within reach
in two distinguished programs occur-
ring in the autumns of each of the next
University Vacations is stag-
ing a week-long (non-credit) course
"Alice: The Oxford History of Children's
Literature" August 10-16, 1997 at Ox-
ford and include living accommoda-
tions, field trips, social gatherings, and
so on. Dr. Gillian Avery will discuss
children's fantasy writers of the 1 9th and
20th centuries, emphasizing Carroll, and
including Grahame, Milne, Barrie,
Kipling, Tolkien, Lewis, and Potter.
Member Elizabeth Erickson attended
their 1 993 gathering and called it "abso-
lutely wonderful". U.S. Headquarters:
International Building, 10461 NW 26th
Street, Miami FL 33 172.
Brasenose College, Ox-
ford, England OX 1 4 AJ.
Programme in associa-
tion with the Lewis
Carroll Society (Great
Britain) and the Depart-
ment for Continuing
Education, Oxford, is
planning "A week of
and talks. . .open to lov-
ers of Alice the world
over. The occasion will
provide a rare opportu-
nity to visit places as-
sociated with Lewis
Carroll and Alice at
Christ Church, not nor-
mally open to the pub-
lic. These include the
Deanery, the Deanery
Garden, Library, Lewis
Carroll's Rooms, Cathedral, Cathedral
Garden, Tom Tower, together with sig-
nificant places in and around Oxford.
Talks will be given by eminent members
of the Lewis Carroll Society who will act
as hosts throughout the programme."
August 1 6-22, 1 998. £645 per person (in-
clusive of fiill board at Christ Church
and all associated talks and events; with
a discount of £1 00 for LCSNA members).
For a brochure, contact Liza Denny at
The University of Oxford Department
for Continuing Education, 1 Wellington
Square, Oxford, 0X1 2JA, tel: 865 270374
or270456,fax: 865 270314.
THE LEWIS CARROLL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA
NUMBER 54 SPRING 1997
by Ellie Luchinsky
Our fall 1 996 meeting took place at Brown Univer-
sity in Providence, Rhode Island on the rainy afternoon of
November 9. The weather perhaps reflected the poignancy
of our recent losses.
Joel Birenbaum began the meeting by noting the
passing of Myra Cohn Livingstone, a poet, children's author
and Society member. Ms. Livingstone had hosted a wonder-
ful reception in Los Angeles when we had last met there.
His next sad duty was to report the death of Maxine
Goldstein Schaefer, the very much beloved and respected
founding member, who also served as our secretary for twenty
years. President emeritus August
Imholtz gave a brief talk about Maxine,
noting that she was in many ways like
her favorite Alice character, the Dor-
mouse. Both of them were the sole repre-
sentative of their species.
In her talk to the Society at the
end of her tenure, titled "Twenty Years
in a Secretary-ship", she recounted that
in one year she had answered over six
thousand letters. Extrapolating from this
number and including dues and meeting
notices, she reckoned she had written
about thirty-eight thousand letters, a
number with which Charles Dodgson
would have sympathized.
If Stan Marx was our Founding
Father, August continued, then Maxine
was certainly our Founding Mother, who
continued her services through seven
Society presidents. Maxine was also an eager contributor
and participant in the Schaefer collection of Carrolliana. Even
before she and David inherited the collection from his mother,
who started it in the 1 890s, she was adding to it. On their
honeymoon in Mexico, she instigated a visit to a bookstand
outside of their hotel, and found a Spanish language Alice,
which she carried triumphantly back to her mother-in-law.
The high point of her experience as a Carrollian was
when she and David were invited to unveil Carroll's memo-'
rial plaque in Westminster Abbey. The tiger lilies which they
had placed on the marker remained fresh long after others
Joel invited other members of the Society to share
their memories of Maxine. Ellie Luchinsky remembered her
first meeting with Maxine and David, when she was invited
to their home and treated so generously. Genevieve Smith
reminisced about her smile and sense of humor. Maxine, she
noted, started the tradition of a Carrollian money quote on
the dues notice, a tradition carried on
by the two subsequent secretaries.
CharUe Lovett spoke of the "complete
bliss" he experienced in the Schaefer
living room, looking at their collec-
tion. He recounted his memories of
the time when The Learning Charmel
filmed part of a documentary about
Carroll there. In spite of the huge
lights, the cameras, and various crew
members, Maxine took it all in stride,
offering lunch to everyone as if they
were her own children.
Joel ended the memories by
expressing his gratitude that we had
had the chance to honor Maxine
Schaefer when she ended her term as
secretary, both by giving her a com-
missioned teapot for her collection,
and thanking her profusely and re-
spectfiilly for her long and diligent service.
The first speaker on the program was Sherrie
Ackermann-Ballou. Ms. Ballou has a Masters degree in Fine
Arts and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion. The title of her
talk was "The Soul of Sylvie". She began by remarking that
in 1 990 a professor had once asked her if there was anything
philosophical about the Alice books. She responded by do-
continued on p. 2
For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to: Earl Abbe, Richard Boothe, Sandor Burstein, Morton Cohen,
Elizabeth Erickson, Johana Hurwitz, August Imholtz, Lucille Posner, Kathleen Rossman, and Leonard Wolf
Cover: "Frog Footman" by Leslie Allen, scratchboard, special commission #5 for the Knight Letter.
Knight Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. It is published several times a
year and is distributed free to members. Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed
to the Secretary, 1 8 Fitzharding Place, Owing Mills MD 21117. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942.
President: Joel Birenbaum, firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky, email@example.com
Editor: Mark Burstein, wTabbit@worldpassage.net
Lewis Carroll Society of North America Home Page: http://www.students.uiuc.edu/~jbirenba/lcsnahp.html
The Lewis Carroll Home Page: http://www.students.uiuc.edu/~jbirenba/carroll.html